Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MILLER, John, clergyman, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 24 December, 1722; died near Dover, Delaware, 22 July, 1791. He was educated in the Boston public schools, licensed to preach in 1748, and in 1749 ordained pastor of Presbyterian churches in Smyrna and Dover, Delaware, where he continued for forty-three years. The University of Pennsylvania gave him the degree of A. M. in 1763. Dr. Miller was an ardent promoter of education, and an active advocate of the patriot cause.--His eldest son, John, was a surgeon in the Continental army, and died of exposure during the Revolution.--Another son, Edward, physician, born in Dover, Delaware, 9 May, 1760 :: died in New York city, 17 March, 1812, studied in the medical hospital at Baskingridge, New Jersey, was surgeon's mate in the Revolutionary army, and in 1782 went to France in that capacity on an armed ship. On his return he settled in Dover, was graduated at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1784, and from 1783 till 1796 practised in Dover. He then removed to New York city, and with Dr. Elihu H. Smith and Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell founded in August, 1779, the" Medical Repository," the first American medical journal. Its conductors were members of a "Friendly" club whose weekly receptions were attended by the wit and intellect of the city, and which included William Dunlap, Charles Brockden Brown, Anthony Bleecker, and James Kent. Dr. Miller became resident physician of New York city in 1803, professor of the practice of medicine in the University of New York in 1807, and clinical lecturer in New York hospital in 1809. He received many professional honors, had a large correspondence with men of letters both in this country and abroad, was an earnest advocate of temperance, and opposed the use of tobacco. His report on " Yellow Fever in New York in 1805" is the source from which most later authors have drawn their arguments in support of the non-contagious nature of that disease. See his memoir and writings by his brother, Reverend Samuel Miller (New York, 1814).--Another son of John, Samuel, clergyman, born in Dover, Delaware, 31 October, 1769; died in Princeton, New Jersey, 7 January, 1850, was. graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1789, studied theology, was licensed to preach in 1791, and the same year was installed colleague pastor of the 1st Presbyterian church in New York city. He became professor of ecclesiastical history and church government in Princeton theological seminary in 1813, and held this office till 1849. He was corresponding secretary of the New York historical society, and in 1809 delivered before that body a discourse to commemorate the discovery of New York. The University of Pennsylvania gave him the degree of D. D. in 1804. Dr. Miller enlisted vigorously in the controversy that resulted in the division of his church into the new and old schools, and was an eminent theological and polemical writer. He published "A brief Retrospect of the 18th Century" (2 vols., New York, 1803; 3 vols., London, 1805);" Letters on the Constitution and Order of Christian Ministry " (1807; with a "Continuation," 1809); "Memoir of the Reverend John Rogers" (1813) ; " Letters on Unitarianism" (Trenton, 1821); "Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits" (Philadelphia. 1827); "An Essay on the Office of the Ruling Elder" (New York, 1831); "Letters to Presbyterians" (1833) : "Discourses on Infant Baptism" (1834); "Presbyterianism the truly Apostolic and Primitive Constitution of the Church of Christ" (Philadelphia, 1835) ; " The Primitive and Apostolic Order of Christvindicated" (1840) ; "Letters from a Father to a Son in College" (1843); "A Sermon on the Ruling Elderships, with Appendix" (1843); "Thoughts on Public Prayer" (1849); and the "Life of Jonathan Edwards" in Sparks's American Biography. His life was written by his son, Samuel (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1869).--Samuel's son, Samuel, clergyman, born in Princeton, New Jersey, 23 January, 1816; died in Mount Holly, New Jersey, 12 October, 1883, was graduated at Princeton in 1833, was tutor there in 1835-'6, studied law and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar, but abandoned it for theology. He was graduated at Princeton seminary in 1844, and settled as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Mount Holly, N. J He was principal of the West Jersey collegiate institute in 1845:'57, and from 1857 till 1873 was in charge of the church in Oceanic, New Jersey Princeton gave him the degree of D. D. in 1861. He published "Report of the Presbyterian Church Case" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1840).--Another son of the first Samuel, Elihu Spencer, lawyer, born in Princeton, New Jersey, 3 September, 1817 ; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 March, 1879, was graduated at Princeton in 1836, and studied law, first with James S. Green in Princeton, afterward with Reverdy Johnson in Baltimore. He was admitted to the bar in Baltimore and subsequently, in 1843, in Philadelphia, where he practised his profession during the remainder of his life. As a lawyer he attained a very high standing among his contemporaries, and was well known for his integrity, intrepidity, and skill. He was a close thinker, a deliberate and careful speaker, and a man of pungent and refined wit. The great facility which he possessed for turning instantly from even the pleasures of life to the most serious work was a remarkable trait, and no less so was the tenacity with which he clung to any course in the conduct of legal work upon which he had deliberately entered. He occupied the chair of real estate and equity in the law department of the University of Pennsylvania for twenty years. During the civil war he ra, ised and commanded an artillery company. He died suddenly in his office at the close of his day's work. He published a "Treatise on the Law of Partition by Writ in Pennsylvania" (Philadelphia, 1847)" and edited the second edition of Sergeant's "Treatise of the Lien of Mechanics and Material Men in Pennsylvania" (1856). He also printed a small collection of fugitive poems entitled " Caprices" (1849).--Another son of the first Samuel, John, clergyman, born in Princeton, New Jersey, 6 April, 1819, was graduated at Princeton in 1836, and at the theological seminary there in 1842. He was pastor successively of Presbyterian churches in Frederick, Maryland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Petersburg, Virginia During the civil war he was a captain of artillery in the Confederate army, and since 1871 he has resided in Princeton, where he has founded three "Evangelical" churches and officiated in them. In 1877 he was dismissed from the presbytery of his church for holding heterodox views on the subject of the Trinity, and other minor points of ecclesiastical difference affecting the peccability of Christ, and the state of the dead, but on appealing to the synod of New Jersey was permitted to withdraw as an independent clergyman without deposition. His latter years for the most part have been devoted to controversial writings, and his publications include "Design of the Church" (Philadelphia, 1846); "A Commentary on the Proverbs" (New York, 1863)" "Fetich in Theology" (1874)" " Metaphysics" (1875)" "Are Souls Immortal?" (Philadelphia, 1877)" "Was Christ in Adam?" (1877)" "Is God a Trinity?." (1877)" "Creed" (Princeton, 1879) ; "Theology" (1887)" and "Commentary on Romans" (1887).
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